March 2012 Issue
February 21, 2012

Webinar on PCBs now online

Author: Wendy Hord
Source: NYSUT United

In December, NYSUT conducted its first health and safety webinar on a concern that has been kept in the dark for too long — PCBs in school lighting fixtures.

The webinar was recorded and is now available to view online at

Why would you be interested? If all or some of the lighting fixtures in your facility were built or renovated before 1979, they probably contain PCB light ballasts. While the discussion centers on schools, the information covered is relevant for any building.

PCBs (polychlorinated biphenyls) were used in hundreds of industrial and commercial applications before their production was banned and their use restricted. They can cause serious health effects and are a probable human carcinogen.

The webinar deals with health effects of PCBs; why the EPA is concerned about school light fixtures containing PCBs; how to recognize PCB fixtures and leaks; how to handle leaking ballasts; storage and disposal of PCB fixtures; and the ongoing experience of New York City schools dealing with this issue.

The webinar was produced by NYSUT in partnership with Region 2 of the Environmental Protection Agency and the United Federation of Teachers. The sound will start first and slides will appear within the first minute.